When Vivek Oberoi announced that he would be starring in a biopic called PM Narendra Modi, there was a collective, audible groan across the country. When Oberoi released a picture from his ‘look test’ as the honourable PM, some laughed it off as his last-ditch effort to belong somewhere. But it was only after the makers preponed the film’s release to April 5, a week before the polling for the 2019 Elections begin, that things got really heated up.
On March 21, the film dropped its official trailer. Given its political leaning, became the subject for quite a few memes.
Modi ji: Mera gujarat jal raha hai
Salman: aur footpath par log bhi mar rahe hai….#ActorLikeModi pic.twitter.com/NSW8xN33ox
— Deshbhakt Aishwary Verma (@AishwaryVerma9) March 28, 2019
Mera Gujarat jal raha hai pic.twitter.com/xSAG4Z4wxr
— Edible Source (@eyecanny) March 21, 2019
Mera Gujarat Jal Raha Hai should be given Oscar so that Modi ji gets even more fame globally. pic.twitter.com/t36w4awMVL
— Ujwal Acharya (@UjwalAcharya07) March 25, 2019
On March 23, another controversy came to the fore. The credits of the trailer named veteran lyricists – Javed Akhtar and Sameer, who denied working on the project in any capacity. It was only later that producer Sandip Ssingh clarified that two old songs had been used in the film, that belonged to Javed Akhtar and Sameer respectively, and hence they had been credited.
Am shocked to find my name on the poster of this film. Have not written any songs for it ! pic.twitter.com/tIeg2vMpVG
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) March 22, 2019
On March 26, members of the opposition urged the Election Commission to stop the film from releasing, because it was ‘politically motivated, rather than artistically’. The opposition noted that three producers on the film and its leading man, Vivek Oberoi, were all members of the BJP. With more than a few official complaints against the film, the producers were forced to shift the release date from April 5 to April 11.
On April 9, Congress minister Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s plea seeking a stay on the release of the film was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The bench asked the petitioner if he had seen the film, to which the petitioner replied in the negative.
On April 10, a day before the release of PM Narendra Modi, the film was banned for releasing to ‘ensure a level playing field’ during the upcoming elections. The film will not release till the conclusion of polling of the 2019 elections.
PM Narendra Modi stars Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Joshi, Prashant Narayanan, Boman Irani and Zarina Wahab. The film is directed by Mary Kom director, Omung Kumar.